Case Studies

ROMCO Equipment Co.

A Trusted, Family-Owned Equipment Dealer in the Lone Star State
  • Written by: Jeanee Dudley
  • Produced by: ROMCO Equipment Co.
  • Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Bob Mullens founded ROMCO Equipment Co. (ROMCO) in 1961 as a mid-sized equipment dealership catering to the construction market in Southeastern Texas. Out of a single location, the business has grown to include 10 branches around the state. Bob’s son, Robert Mullens has taken over the business and now serves as CEO. Robert works with a supportive executive team including David Fitch, president of the company’s equipment division.

“I’ve been with ROMCO since 1995,” says Fitch. “And I’ve been in the same industry my whole career. Right out of school I started in manufacturing for Volvo, which we represent now. After 18 years on the manufacturing side of the business, it was an easy transition to the distribution side. I stated here as a sales manager, then became branch manager for the Houston location. After that, I took over as vice president and general manager. With our new growth and acquisition, I became the division president in April 2013.”

Leading Equipment and Leading Service

With over 50 years in business, ROMCO continues to grow and diversify. That company’s size and variety of products and capabilities offers an advantage over other equipment distributors. “We have 10 locations,” explains Fitch. “We are represented in all of the major, highly populated markets of Texas, such as Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston. One of our key strengths is that we try to be decentralized. The market is different in each area of Texas. We have put management in place to respond to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Each geographic pocket presents different market needs and challenges. “We have a large Energy market in Houston, and we wanted to be more involved with Eagle Forge Shale in South Texas,” Fitch elaborates. “To address that, we opened up a temporary facility in Three Rivers, a remote facility South Texas we established specifically for that market. It allows us to better serve customers working in oil patch there.

“We also have a relatively new paving division,” he continues, “Our MPS aggregates division. We are trying to grow the company and have a stronger impact in the aggregate business. We formed this division  when we purchased Conley Lott Nichols in October 2012. The business had two major divisions, a paving and road group, and an aggregate division. We folded that concept into ROMCO, keeping our MPS aggregates division separate. Meanwhile, we created a paving division that has both asphalt and concrete paving products, which is part of the ROMCO equipment division. These all identify as one corporate entity, with separate divisions. We are trying to keep people focused in different segments of the business to better serve our customers. Specializing allows us to be more responsive to their needs.”

Upward Market Trends

While many equipment distributors have struggled through the recession, ROMCO is still going steady. “The Texas market is strong and continues to improve,” Fitch explains. “The energy business is driving our economy, with the oil and gas industry throughout the whole state. We have a strong highway program that is doing well, too. There is a lot of road work and improvements for the ever increasing population.  With that, the housing market is coming back and getting stronger. New housing improvements are a bellwether for our business and have greatly helped the market. That is always a good indicator.”

The management team is continuously maintaining and improving upon ROMCO’s existing business model. Fitch has no major expansion plans set in stone for the next few years, but wants to continue a focus on improving existing divisions. “We have had less than a year in our new structure,” he explains. “Right now we want to continue to strengthen those divisions. Of course, we are always looking for new opportunities. This is a fun business. We are always building and growing something.”

The dedicated and knowledgeable staff offers years of experience to clients, as well as total-solution services. On top of that, members of the ROMCO crew love what they do. “It is really enjoyable putting your equipment out there and seeing the end result,” Fitch notes. “It is always rewarding to be driving around and see your equipment working on projects, whether it is a housing development or a new road project.” Finch and his team share a dedication to service, helping people build infrastructure, homes and businesses among other projects. ROMCO Equipment Co. maintains a strong industry presence as the go-to solution for heavy equipment needs in a number of markets across Texas.

Published on: November 25, 2013

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